EU value-added steel prices rise further

Hot-dip galvanized and cold-rolled steel prices rose sharply March 16 as supply chain issues and higher market capacities drove up prices.The weekly Platts HDG North Europe price from S&P Global Commodity Insights was assessed at Eur1,495/mt ex-works Ruhr, up Eur295, while the weekly HDG South Europe price was assessed at Eur1,470/mt EXW Italy, up Eur285.

Cold-rolled coil in southern Europe was assessed at Eur1,450/mt EXW Italy, up Eur300.

Market participants consistently linked HDG and CRC levels but stressed a reduction in end-user demand for CRC.

Due to demand pressures for hot-rolled coil, with which cold-rolled material shares production lines, CRC was reported by one distributor source more as upstream supply for long-route HDG production than its own finished product. “CRC is a lot rarer on the market for the moment in comparison to [galvanized] due to a focus on long-route production,” the distributor said. “Companies like Arcelor put HDG on a higher premium than CRC, but there’s really a limited difference in [the] base price.”

A trader source confirmed that CRC also showed reduced demand on the import market, with the usual Eur100 premium to HRC reduced to as little as Eur50 in some cases.

ArcelorMittal returned to the market March 16 with new price levels for coil products: Eur1,400/mt for hot-rolled material, Eur1,500/mt and Eur1,550/mt for CRC and HDG, respectively.

Deals in southern Europe were heard at Eur1,470/mt EXW Italy.

In the northern market, few transactions were reported, although tradable value submissions from sources were relatively homogenous, around Eur1,500/mt ex-works.

Offer levels in northern Europe were heard as low as Eur1,450 in the week that started March 14 – although with new prices from ArcelorMittal. It is yet to be seen whether these levels will remain on the market.

— Benjamin Steven